Changing your morning routine to maximize your time.



Photo Credit: Suzanna McGarrah Photography (KCMO)

I am a completely self-motivated person. I don’t need a friend to workout with or to set new goals, I work best alone. BUT, I CANNOT seem to get myself out of bed early enough to create any sort of morning routine – let alone getting a yoga practice or run in before heading off to work.

Last year I would get up every single day at 4am, sometimes even 3:45am, and go to the gym. I did this every single day for almost a solid year. And then I stopped… and so did my motivation. This year my goals are different and I am running more which requires me to be outside (let’s be real, treadmills stink). I would love to get a morning routine down to maximize my time spent in the mornings but I am really struggling.

Every week I tell myself that I’m going to get up earlier and get a small yoga practice in before getting ready for work. Every week I let myself down by hitting that snooze button once… maybe twice or three times. Waking up as the snooze button goes off makes me irritable and defeated for not completing my mission. I don’t want to feel like this every day but what do you do? How do you become motivated to get out of bed??? It’s the hardest thing ever to wake up before you are ready but I have come across a few tid bits of knowledge that will help get those gears in  motion to change old habits and to maximize your morning time.

Before you go to bed:

  • Get GOOD sleep. Put your phone down 45 minutes to an hour before bedtime. This quiets your mind to calm you, the screen on your phone can actually trigger your mind to stay awake.
  • Don’t drink any caffeine or have any chocolate before bed.
  • Drink a warm cup of decaf tea and read a book in bed. It’s always nice to get some reading in and what’s more comforting than holding a warm cup?
  • Take a hot shower. When you step out of the shower and into a cooler room it increases sleepiness and gives your that nice drowsy feeling.
  • Wake up at the same time every day. UGHHH I know! BUT if this is the goal you have in mind it will come naturally to you.
  • Set your clothes out for the next day including making sure you have a towel and all things needed to get ready the next day.
  • Decide on what you are making for dinner for the next day so you know what to set out in the morning to maximize your evening time.

First thing in the morning:

  • Start slowly. If you want to wake up an hour earlier than you do now try to wake up 15 minutes earlier each day and work your way up to it. For example, if you want to wake up at 5am instead of 6am set your alarm for 5:45 tomorrow and 5:30 the next day etc…
  • Set your alarm tone to something that you find comforting instead of beeps or chimes. Maybe your favorite jam?
  • DON’T HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON!! I am SO bad about this y’all. I seriously hit that thing until I realize that I’m about to be late for work. Hitting snooze is so bad for you. It throws off your REM sleep, it affects your cognition and it causes you to be more tired than if you were to just get the heck up. I feel like I need to write this down and stick it to my forehead. Just get up when the alarm goes off the first time!
  • Create a morning routine. For me, I would love to wake up, drink a cup of hot tea or coffee and roll out my mat for a 30 minute yoga practice. Or even to take a walk around the block. There is something so calming and relaxing about waking up before the world and going outside to greet the birds. It’s lovely and I always miss it.
  • Drink a glass of water right when you wake up. This wakes up the digestive system by flushing out toxins, purifying the colon and helps you to eat less in the morning. There’s nothing worse than getting hangry and eating a sugary muffin or prepackaged breakfasts that leave you feeling tired and groggy after you eat it. Drink water and eat some toast.
  • WORKOUT. Working out in the morning, before breakfast, helps you to burn more fat and build more muscle than if you were to workout after you eat breakfast. has some great morning stretches to get you going. This is one of my favorites but I am by no means as nimble as this girl, check it out here.  Goals, right?!

There are many simple things that we can do to improve our time spent alone in the mornings, we just need to DO them.

Do you have a solid morning routine? I would LOVE to hear from you. What has worked, what hasn’t worked. Just drop them down in the comments section. Are you up at 5am? TEXT me to make sure I’m up! LOL! … but for real… maybe I need an accountability partner for now? I’m going to give all of these things a go and I will let you know how I am doing in a later post.

Photo credit: Suzanna McGarrah Photography (KCMO)


I hope your week is off to a great start! Have a superb day! By the way- if you need any photos in the Kansas City area or for a destination photo op Suzy McGarrah is amazing! Follow her on instagram @suzannamcgarrahphotography 🙂


Love love love, Kari Jo

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3 thoughts on “Changing your morning routine to maximize your time.

  1. This is one of my big goals for this summer. Starting in June, I’ve got about 3 months to get myself in a routine before school starts up again. So the goal for this summer is to wake up at 5am, go downstairs and get water, sit at the dining room table and get in my bible. I’ve got plenty of self-guided studies to work with. Get back upstairs by 5:45am or so, and then Stephen and I do some simple easy gentle yoga. Then back downstairs to cook breakfast…and sit down and eat together at the table! *whew*

    1. That’s a totally rad goal to have! I, too, need to get into my bible. I haven’t done that in quite some time and I can tell the difference. Adding a gentle yoga routine to your morning will completely change your day. You will feel more energized and charged, ready to tackle the day! It feels SO nice incorporating yoga into your morning. Best of luck to you! Keep me posted on how it goes – what works and what doesn’t work!

  2. I read an article on this recently and I am working on getting up earlier each day so that I can walk each morning. My brother currently does it and walks 6-7 miles in the morning. I might be able to get 1-2 in during the morning, but that change could be the difference in my health. Thank you for your commitment to inspiring us to get healthy and live a great life. Thank you for being YOU!

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